Disclaimer: I do not own!
It was over a month after the...attack.
The nightmares would never go away.
Zuko and Uncle were awakened almost everynight by my screams. I closed my eyes and I would either see Zhao or Jet. Jet had brought up the most horrible of the nightmares. Before, the nightmares of Zhao had stopped shortly after the North Pole. I was so relieved when I didn't see his face everynight. But now he was back, along with Jet.
It was so common for the nightmares to come that Uncle started to sleep through the noise. But Zuko would get up, comfort me, get tea, and then would come lie down with me and allow me to fall asleep on his arm. After that, I wouldn't have any nightmares.
The nightmares always included Zuko and Uncle dying in some of the worse ways I've heard of or seen. And Jet would be telling everyone of our secret.
Zuko assures me that nothing bad will happen. He has gone out frequently to look around the city to see of he could find Jet. He would always come home in a dark mood, a sure sign that his search yeilded no results.
Uncle would run the tea shop as always. Me and Zuko would wait on the tables and afterwards we would be cleaning up the shop. Uncle was talking to Hu-Lin about hiring some more help since the shop has gotten so much buisness lately but Hu-Lin didn't like the concept of paying more for help.
I felt like I was apart of the problem. I couldn't carry many trays in the first place but now i can only carry one tray with a maximum of 4 cups. Any more than that and i would be spending half the time cleaning up the mess.
My ribs haven't gotten any better. They've been hurting more than usual lately. They are still the nasty purple color like all bruises. Uncle gave me tea everyday and the heat would help. I need to buy more Asprina and Tylena. So getting myself checked out along with buying some more supplies will be like killing two birds with one stone.
I'm planning to go today since the end of the week is the slowest part of the week and Uncle wouldn't need too much help in the shop so I could borrow Zuko and go to the Healers.
But this morning I woke up with the beginnings of a headache. I ran out of Asprina and Tylena two days ago so now I don't have anything for my headache. Great. Just great. Thank Agni I was going to the healers today.
I laid in bed, feeling Zuko stir beside me. It was nice waking up with one of his arms around me. Though I couldn't enjoy it much right now. Zuko kissed my cheek, "Morning."
I smiled half-heartedly, "Morning."
He must have heard it in my voice because he leaned over from behind me to look at my face, "What's wrong?" His hair was getting so long. It was fun to run my fingers through and mess it up. It will go in any direction.
I sat up, trying not to wince at the head rush i got, "I'm fine. A little headache. Where's Uncle?"
He wasn't in his sleeping chair like he normally is. Zuko nodded downstairs, "He got up a little early and went down to start opening the shop. Drink some water, that might help, and eat some breakfast."
I nodded and stood up off the bed.
I looked back at Zuko. He was on his back, laying there looking at me. He held out his arms to me, "You don't have to get up right this minute. Come here."
"But don't we have to get to work?"
Zuko shrugged, smiling faintly, "Its early morning, Koi. We aren't going to be busy until midday and then after that we will be so dead we can close for the night. Uncle's not going to miss us for a few minutes. Come lie down with me. It will help that headache."
I had to smile, "I doubt you're thinking of the headache." But i sat down anyways and Zuko pulled me into his arms, kissing my forehead.
I burrowed into his chest, loving the warmth there, and closed my eyes as Zuko played with my hair.
Hopefully Uncle will say downstairs granted that it didn't get busy. He hardly ever got to spend any alone time with her. Everytime they really had any time off of work he was out searching the city for the bastard that hurt her in the worst way. She wasn't the Firebender and she almost gets killed.
"Why don't you stay in bed today," he suggested, hoping she would, "get rid of that head ache."
Koima shook her head, her hair tickling his chest, "I stay in bed too much. I've had headaches before. This isn't any different."
Zuko pulled her face up so he could look at her and when he saw her amber eyes he smiled, "Just don't let it get too bad then. Stop working when it gets to be too much."
She smiled and rolled her eyes, "Anything else Prince Zuko?" she teased.
Dammit she's too cute! He grinned, "A kiss please?"
"As you wish."
Downstairs, I started wishing I did stay in bed. My head was throbbing horribly. The lively chatter of the shop wasn't doing much to improve the headache. It made it worse.
I handed another man his Green Tea and went back to Uncle for the next order. Zuko was cleaning after a table had vacated and I went over to him, and asked if he wouldn't mind coming with me to the Healers.
"Healers?" he questioned, "Why the Healers?"
"I need to pick up some supplies and I want my ribs looked at. They haven't healed and it feels as though they are getting worse."
Zuko looked at me closely as I told him this. His eyes searching mine.
"What?" I asked, looking away. I hated when he did that. He would always find something to point out when I didn't want him to.
"Your headache's not gone is it." It was more of a statement than a question. Dammit.
When I didn't answer he grabbed my hand, "You're going upstairs to rest until this headache is gone, Koi."
"Z-Li!" I pulled my hand away. And stopped.
Koima's face went white as linen when she pulled herself out of his hold.
Zuko waited for her to say something, "Koi?"
She swallowed and bolted away from him and out of the tea shop. Zuko was standing there, watching her stagger out.
Few people looked up, but went back to their tea. Uncle beckoned him over, concerned, "What's wrong with Koi?"
Zuko shrugged, "I'm going to find out."
He went the same way Koima did. He passed the bathroom and heard someone retching.
A cough and then, "Guh… I'm here. Urk! Don't come in!" he heard her hiccup behind the door.
"Koima what's going on? Are you alright?" Zuko knocked on the door. It swung open. Koima was next to the toilet, holding her head. She heard the door creak and looked over and then back down, "Go away!" She croaked.
What was wrong with her?
"You're throwing up?" he kneeled down with her, his hand on her back.
She tried to smile, "Headaches make me do that if they are bad enough… I guess I should've stayed up in
the room." Zuko smirked, "What did I tell you?"
"Oh shut up." she hiccupped again. Zuko backed away, wary.
She shook her head, "I think that's the last of it…" Koi wiped her mouth and got up.
Zuko helped her, "Let's get you upstairs so you can sleep off that headache. We will go to the Healers
once you're feeling better alright?"
She nodded, "Sounds good." She didn't even try to resist the call of rest this time.
A long nap later, Koima was up and ready to go to the healer. Uncle gave them the 'go ahead' and they left the Tea Shoppe early that afternoon. They had enough tips from Koima to buy the Asprina and Tylena. But Zuko wasn't going to let her pay for it all by herself.
"So what's this about your ribs getting worse?"
Koima looked up at him and shrugged, "They just hurt. The Healer will check them out." She said quietly.
They passed by a fruit stand selling leechy nuts, papayas, guavas, Jack fruit and many other fruits. Zuko stopped and bought himself a papaya and bought a Jack fruit for Koi.
"It smells horrible!" He said once he got a whiff of the large fruit. Jack Fruit smells like a rotting carcass.
Koima laughed, "It does smell bad. But the fruit is so good. Look: See" The vendor handed her a portion of the prickly fruit. "You eat the sacks around the seeds." She pulled out a yellow sack and popped the
kidney-looking seed out and stuck the edible portion into her mouth and chewed.
"Oh they are good. Once you get by the smell it's delicious. Try it." She handed him one. Zuko took it and grimaced. Koima raised an eyebrow and smiled coyly, "You scared?"
Zuko watched her from the corner of his eye as he took a small bite out of the fruit. Tangy… and a little chewy. But good. Koima saw the look on his face and beamed, "Better than Papaya isn't it?"
(A.N: We had Jack Fruit in India. It was so good. Most of the girls didn't eat it because of the horrible smell.)
They had to stop and ask for directions to the local Healer's hut and they were soon pointed onto the right path. It was a rather large hut. Once they walked in it was pretty quiet though there were quite a lot of people there. Mostly elderly people and young children and their parents.
Koima sat down in line with him and waited patiently. Zuko was looking around the room and saw a little boy getting his runny nose wiped by his mother and smiled, pointing it out to Koima. She smiled and giggled as the boy tried to wrestle himself away from his mother's caring hand.
Little by little, people went in to the healer's room and came back out carrying something or looking better than they had originally went in as.
An hour later, It was their turn. Zuko was jostled awake by Koima, "Come on."
Koima pulled him along as they went into the room. A woman stood at a table, refilling her bandages and splints. She was tall and like most Earth Nation she wore her long black hair down in a braid. She had a long face but it suited her.
"Ah, Good evening." She heard them come in. She smiled warmly, laugh lines standing out on her tan skin, "I am Yuli. And I will be your healer for today."
Koima and Zuko bowed to her, "Koima."
"Nice to meet you both. So we are here for Li's face? Lemme see what I have for him."
Zuko frowned, Koima jumped in, "Ah no. I need to by some medical supplies and something looked at."
Why is it always my face?
Yuli made me sit on the table and I gave Zuko my money bag to hold onto.
"So what are we looking at today? A toothache? Sprained ankle?" Yuli came over to me, checking to see if I had a fever and looked at my eyes.
I shook my head, "No Ma'am. I need you to look at my ribs." Zuko avoided his gaze as Yuli lifted up my shirt to take a look.
She gasped, "My heavens!" She prodded them softly with the tip of her finger, counting the bruises and fractures.
"What happened and how long ago?"
Zuko looked down, finding interest in the city newspaper, ignoring what was happening. I really didn't want to go into detail so I tried to put it as bluntly as possible.
"I was attacked about a month ago."
Yuli's mouth thinned into a frown, "And why hadn't you come sooner? It would've saved you a lot of pain."
I looked down, "I was hoping that they would heal on their own-"
"And what in heaven's name is this?" She saw the scar on my back. Zuko looked up this time then back down at his paper which I doubt he was really reading.
"Fire Nation... We're refuges."
Yuli seemed to believe this and nodded, "Tell me about your ribs." She continued inspection.
"They've been getting worse though." I said, knowing that something was wrong, "They should've healed within the first 2 weeks but they haven't."
Yuli nodded to Zuko, "I will have to do a better examination. Li is it? I'm going to have to ask you to step out into the waiting room for the time being."
Zuko put aside the paper and nodded to me before stepping out. I sighed, knowing that this wasn't going to be pleasant.
Yuli watched Zuko go, "Is that young man your brother?"
I nodded, "Yes Ma'am."
"Hmm. Alright, I need you to undress to your underclothes so I can get a better look. What kind of attack was this? Do the Dai Li know there's a perpetrator on the loose."
"Um…" She saw that I wasn't comfortable with telling her, "My dear girl, I am a healer, we have patient confidentiality and anything you tell me with more than likely help me diagnose what you have and so I can give you medicine for it." It sounded like she had that memorized, probably from telling everyone that.
I looked down at the floor as I told her, "Yes the Dai Li know. It was a Dai Li that found me."
"I was almost beaten to death and left in an alley." I didn't want to talk about this any more but the lady persisted.
"I know this is painful for you but some of these are on a need-to-know basis honey. What happened? Was it a man? What did he do?"
"Broke my ribs… and…" I can't cry now! I couldn't say it. It was still to fresh in my mind. If I knew I was going to be questioned this much I wouldn't have come. None of this would have happened if I had just listened to Zuko and stayed away from Jet.
Yuli handed me a cloth to wipe my eyes, apparently I didn't have to say any thing more. She could guess the rest from the tears.
"You've been through hell dear…" She shook her head sadly, "I'm sorry for bringing it up. Any other problems you've had?"
I took a deep breath and let it out slowly, "Dizzy spells every once in a while along with lower back pain. I get bad headaches but as soon as I throw up they go away." Today was no exception. I just hated that Zuko saw me. Everything about me has the worst timing… Uh oh. Yuli was frowning again. What now?
I nodded, "I normally throw up if I have a headache. It's been like that since I was little."
Yuli nodded, "Alright. How may headaches have you gotten after the incident?"
I hate these questions, "A couple. I would wake up with one every once in a while."
"Hmm. And this attack was a month ago?"
Yuli walked around the room with her parchment and wrote down some things. She looked uneasy which was making me uneasy. I fiddled with my thumbs. She set down her parchment on the table. I strained my eyes to look to see what it said but I couldn't make out her handwriting.
Yuli kneeled in front of me again and prodded my lower stomach this time. I smiled wryly, "We sell cream puffs at the Tea Shop… I like them a little too much. Ha…" I try to laugh. Yuli attempted a smile.
"When was the last time you've had your period?"
That question shocked me.
"Um." I shrugged. I didn't really keep track of that time of the month. I just know its coming the day after I get upset at Zuko for no reason whatsoever.
"Try to remember honey."
I frowned and thought back.
(Insert time here)
"Was that before or after what happened?"
"And this happened about a month ago?"
I nodded getting impatient. I wanted to get the medicine and go. Zuko's been waiting for fifteen minutes.
"You haven't had your period since then?"
I shook my head and sat down, growing tired of this. I want the medicine and I want to leave. What does late periods have to do with anything?
"I'm sorry honey, but these things can be helped?"
I lifted my head up, "What things?"
What is taking so long? He was tired and wanted to go back to the shop for a nap.
Dear Agni he was turning into his Uncle!
Zuko watched as more people came into the waiting area of the hut. Families and loners. How much longer is this going to take?Whump!
What the hell was that? It came from the room that Koima and that lady are in.
"Oh Dear Kyoshi." He heard the lady say from behind the door. She came out and saw Zuko.
"Young man come here please!" She said, her voice shrill.
Oh no. Zuko stood up and followed her in the room. He saw Koima lying in a heap on the floor, out cold.
"Koima!" He ran to her and picked her up, "What happened?! Koima?!"
Yuli closed the door behind them and shook her head, "It's not for me to tell you. She is going to have to do it."
Yuli walked to one of her many cabinets and pulled a little stick out and broke it. She went over to Zuko with Koima in his arms and swayed the stick under Koima's nose. An acrid smell rose up from it and it his Zuko's nose and made his eyes water. What was that stuff?
Apparently it was powerful enough to wake Koima up. She coughed and grimaced. Her eyes opened and focused in on the woman and then up at Zuko. She closed her eyes again and tears leaked from under them.
"Koima? What's wrong?"
Koima looked exactly like Zuko had found her in the bathroom. All the color had drained out of her face and she looked sick to her stomach.
"Nononoooo, I can't be. I've never been… for so long." Koima sobbed. Zuko was at a lost at what she was talking about.
"Koima what is it?"
Koima looked up at him, "I'm… pregnant."
Hope this helped a bit guys. Some weird stuff has been going on in my life. 1. Broke up with Tristan 2. Met a new guy at a Party 3. Found out he lives 4 houses down from me 4. Fell In Love like never before 5. Was going to Bootcamp tomorrow October 26 for the Marine Corp 6. Found out Im delayed until November 7. Discovered that I'm Pagan 8. Quite Crazy… 9. You would already know this if you have access to my myspace. Go to my profile and go to the link 10. Im gonna try to finish this story before Bootcamp. Leave me a review! Sorry about the wait!
Hope this helped a bit guys. Some weird stuff has been going on in my life.
1. Broke up with Tristan
2. Met a new guy at a Party
3. Found out he lives 4 houses down from me
4. Fell In Love like never before
5. Was going to Bootcamp tomorrow October 26 for the Marine Corp
6. Found out Im delayed until November
7. Discovered that I'm Pagan
8. Quite Crazy…
9. You would already know this if you have access to my myspace. Go to my profile and go to the link
10. Im gonna try to finish this story before Bootcamp.
Leave me a review!
Sorry about the wait!